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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.

Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
 

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Doesn't sound familiar.

When I'm mad with a SO I let him know why/how/when. I'm calm when doing this because I actually want to resolve the issue or find out what he thinks. If it's something that happens repeatedly then I might be snappy. Anything more than that... well he's really screwed up and we probably shouldn't be together.

I would rather talk it out ASAP. If someone wanted to "sleep on it" I would respect their wishes but while they are sleeping I will be thinking so that would stress me out while they're in la la land.
 

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What are you like when you are angry? Especially with SOs?
I sometimes get frustrated, but I really don't get angry very often. In fact sometimes I feel like perhaps I should be angry, but I rationalize myself out of it. It is not unusual for me to want to spend some time trying to decide if anger is justified or not. If I've thought about it for awhile and decide that I have a valid reason for being angry, then I definitely want to discuss it.

My husband (INFJ) is more likely to handle anger in the manner you've described. My ESTP son handles things similarly. I wonder if perhaps it is a guy thing and not related to type?
 

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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.
No, I couldn't just go to sleep in that case. I'd need to address the problem rather than walk away from it. I wouldn't ever act like nothing had happened. It would either be a walk away/cut out of life situation or a 'this is someone worth keeping', we need to address this and sort it out.

Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.
I can relate to this part somewhat though. I can become very reclusive in conflict situations, and I tend to not want to talk to people if I'm angry either. It's not an avoidance technique as such, I just like to decide what I think and feel about the situation before discussing it. I don't like any outside opinions/influences when I'm going through that process and dealing with the resultant emotions. As a result, I can get snappy if people start asking me questions or try to discuss things before I'm ready.

I think as a result, when people are angry, I tend to give them space for a bit to think through the argument so that we can come back later and discuss it. To be fair this doesn't tend to work very well because I don't know many people who operate like that, and they just tend to think you've been sulking for a few hours, so they try to move on without solving it together. And then I feel like I can't bring it up because it will upset them when they've already moved on.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
Maybe when he's calm you could ask him how he deals with conflicts. Explain you like to solve the problem by talking it out and ask when the best time to discuss it is following arguments. Maybe he'd be happy to discuss it calmly the morning after but doesn't like to bring it up again when you seem happier?


Also, welcome to the forum :)
 

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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.
If he's like me, he might be running away because he literally can't process anything anymore and just needs to shut off to regain energy to even be able to think or talk.


Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
I get angry when people ask me if I'm angry also. I'm probably not actually angry but just frustrated at something, but being asked if I'm angry or even being told I'm angry will actually MAKE ME angry because you're assuming I'm angry when I'm just frustrated and need time. Side note, I actually got a little angry when I read "(because I know he's mad)".

He might be becoming reclusive because he needs time to sort himself out and can no longer think straight, and therefore can't actually answer.

Have you asked him if he's stressed out about life in general? From what I've seen of other ISTJ's say on here compared to my own highly stressed experience, I think he just is generally stressed out on life and it's making him unable to be rational in times like a fight

As for best way, I'm not sure. I tend to just blow up. I can say that when I'm like this, what I want most is clear, concise directions as to what I should do, because I can't think straight at all. Like VERY literal directions.
 

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I sometimes get frustrated, but I really don't get angry very often. In fact sometimes I feel like perhaps I should be angry, but I rationalize myself out of it. It is not unusual for me to want to spend some time trying to decide if anger is justified or not. If I've thought about it for awhile and decide that I have a valid reason for being angry, then I definitely want to discuss it.
I do this a lot too! Mainly at the beginning of relationships (SO).
 

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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.

Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
Yes, some of this does sound familiar to me. When I get angry I become very impatient and I prefer to be alone until I had a chance to cool down and regain my composure. As for acting like there was never a fight I think it depends. If the fight was over something trivial or something that cannot be changed, I don't think it makes sense to continue to fight over it. After all, fighting over it won't change anything. If on the other hand the fight was over a major issue that needs to be addressed or otherwise resolved, him avoiding any discussion about it sounds like he's in denial.

My advice for you is to let him be alone when he's in a bad mood. Having a reasonable conversation when one or both persons involved are clearly upset is highly unlikely I think. If it's a major problem, try bringing it up with him again after he had a chance to cool down. If the fight was over something insignificant, just let it be.

I sometimes get frustrated, but I really don't get angry very often. In fact sometimes I feel like perhaps I should be angry, but I rationalize myself out of it. It is not unusual for me to want to spend some time trying to decide if anger is justified or not. If I've thought about it for awhile and decide that I have a valid reason for being angry, then I definitely want to discuss it.

My husband (INFJ) is more likely to handle anger in the manner you've described. My ESTP son handles things similarly. I wonder if perhaps it is a guy thing and not related to type?
Maybe it's the result of accumulating life experiences, but as I've gotten older I don't think I become as quickly or as often angry and frustrated as I used to. Even now when I do happen to get angry, I still handle it the same way: isolate myself from people until I had a chance to cool down. It could very well be a guy thing. I find it much easier and more practical to let the anger dissipate in private than to try to verbalize my anger to someone.
 

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I sometimes get frustrated, but I really don't get angry very often. In fact sometimes I feel like perhaps I should be angry, but I rationalize myself out of it. It is not unusual for me to want to spend some time trying to decide if anger is justified or not. If I've thought about it for awhile and decide that I have a valid reason for being angry, then I definitely want to discuss it.
I'm the exact same way. Sometimes when I'm upset I go through this exact process and while doing so I just withdraw a bit to process things in my mind. I've had the hardest time being able to articulate exactly what I was doing. Lol the part about trying to decide if anger is justified is so true for me.
I don't ever get to the point where I'm uncontrollably angry, frustrated is the perfect word and I go through an entire process of trying to figure out whether what I'm feeling is reasonable.
 

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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.

Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
Not sure what the circumstances are like, what sort of things the fights are about, what you do/say, etc.

If I see the issue clearly, I will be able to get explicitly angry at least to a degree - this might need to be only a very small degree, and often only for a second or so if the issue requires being fully level-headed - and move to constructively resolve it by discussing etc. See more on how that's handled below.

When I don't see the issue clearly yet, unfortunately I might take a very long time in some (the more personal) cases before I can go to that place of clearly understanding it and moving to action to fix things. This process could be sped up only by someone who I trust enough to talk to but they would have to realize on their own that there is something I'm processing. That processing initially isn't conscious even to myself so it doesn't help matters... I'm trying to work on this lately, making such things more conscious by understanding certain things about myself and other things better.

If someone else initiates, like you with your bf, I would definitely be there and listen and try to make sense of it and resolve things constructively. I might again get angry in this situation, or I might remain entirely unflappable, depending. I would definitely not just withdraw without any explanation and go to sleep and wake up as if nothing happened since that's not fair treatment towards the other party.

So how it's handled. It's ok to let out that anger or frustration or similar negative emotions first while conflicting about the issue but as soon as possible, both/all parties must go to full-on problem solving mode to stay constructive. I can do this and even like to do this even while angry but sometimes my being entirely calm and unflappable helps with communication with certain people in conflict. In other cases however, being involved by letting anger come up and letting it out and working by it is actually needed to move things forward. So if it was me there being angry, you can just let me let it out, don't try to invalidate it in any way, and be willing to discuss the issues during and afterwards. I also let others work this way.

If you know he's mad, why do you ask him if he's mad? Ask him if there is anything he wants to fix instead. If it was me though, I might not want to talk about it right away, in this case ask if it's important enough to talk about it later again. It might just be some silly little problem that's not even to do with the person and I know it will not matter later at all. And yes it's possible I'm not aware enough in the moment that I'm irritated and then me being asked like this might irritate me even further turning it into a more explicit expression. That doesn't really lead anywhere on its own. I don't know why it irritates me further in those cases. Note, if I'm mad I do know I'm mad, that's a different state - you may mistake his lower level irritation for being outright anger.
 
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I'm the exact same way. Sometimes when I'm upset I go through this exact process and while doing so I just withdraw a bit to process things in my mind. I've had the hardest time being able to articulate exactly what I was doing. Lol the part about trying to decide if anger is justified is so true for me.
I don't ever get to the point where I'm uncontrollably angry, frustrated is the perfect word and I go through an entire process of trying to figure out whether what I'm feeling is reasonable.
I relate a lot to this :) I do usually know very quickly if anger itself is justified for me, though, for me what takes a little longer sometimes is analyzing out all the aspects of the entire situation related to it. A more refined analysis of what attitudes and actions exactly are justified and why.

Definitely relate to not being uncontrollably angry, I always know what sort of overly bad consequences certain actions would have so I have control over the process and just in general I keep most of my thinking clear. The basic logic is still there, except I get a bit more impulsive, extra focused in a way with sometimes too much tunnel vision, and less averse to taking up certain consequences (not the overly bad ones).

I don't think anger and frustration are the same for me though. Frustration on its own is something bothering me in a bad way, anger is a more active emotion so to speak. Frustration doesn't really often come for me without at least a little anger though, that's good to be able to act towards the problem. Anger can however come without it and I prefer it if there isn't too much frustration since that's too negative, doesn't lead to any good place on its own :)
 

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I'm a non-confrontational person when it comes to co-workers and strangers. If they do something to upset me, I tend to wait until I get home and then vent about it either to myself or write it down in my journal.

If my SO or a family member makes me angry, they know right away what's coming their way. Not only do I address it right then and there, my voice starts to escalate and every other word out of my mouth is a cuss word. Once I get started, it can take a while for me to calm myself down. I'm like a car without brakes going down the highway at 65 miles per hour.:angry:

When I was in my 20's and early 30's, I use to have some uncontrollable anger issues due to my upbringing and being around toxic people. Those types can bring out the worse in me because they know how to press my "hot" buttons. Not only have I chose to let those people go from my life, but I am very careful and selective with who I let into my life, now.

I've gotten much better over the years in controlling my anger. I believe I only had one angry outburst this year with my SO only because he said something mean about one of my daughters. After I let him have it, he has apologized for what he said and it's all good between us.:happy:
 

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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.

Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
I can definitely relate to this. It's just so foreign for me to be in a highly emotional state that, on the very rare occasions that it does happen, the very last thing I want to do, or even have the ability to do, is rationally discuss anything while in that state. The result is that I absolutely need to withdraw, allow the anger to subside and then rationally analyze things after the anger is gone.

This need to take things 'offline' for processing seems to be fairly common for introverts in general, and especially for many ISTJs, and is true with or without the anger factor. However, I think it's even more apparent in ISTJs when emotion is involved. We prefer to deal externally with emotion in a rational way, and that just adds to the "offline" processing workload for us.

One of the fortunate (for us... unfortunate for you) side effects of this processing is that by the time we've beaten the problem to death in our own minds and reached some form of conclusion (which very well could be that WE made an error and need not repeat it), we've put it behind us and have completely shifted our focus to something else. Hence, you find the "nothing ever happened" appearance the next morning. I fully understand how that could be frustrating to you, but keep in mind that for him, at that point it really is "over" and might not even be on his mind at all. He's awakened thinking about the day ahead with all of that gone from his conscious thoughts. While it's important for you to understand this "ISTJ" is really shorthand for "internally beat it to death, reach a conclusion and move on", it's also not unreasonable for you to calmly broach the subject and ask him his thoughts about it. He may actually be surprised that it's still on your mind, but probably won't mind explaining himself once he realizes that he left you out of his process.
 

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I can definitely relate to this. It's just so foreign for me to be in a highly emotional state that, on the very rare occasions that it does happen, the very last thing I want to do, or even have the ability to do, is rationally discuss anything while in that state. The result is that I absolutely need to withdraw, allow the anger to subside and then rationally analyze things after the anger is gone.

This need to take things 'offline' for processing seems to be fairly common for introverts in general, and especially for many ISTJs, and is true with or without the anger factor. However, I think it's even more apparent in ISTJs when emotion is involved. We prefer to deal externally with emotion in a rational way, and that just adds to the "offline" processing workload for us.
Interesting, I do find it foreign to be in so highly emotional states so I get you there, but anger somehow is the exception. I'm able to think while angry and I find it even enjoyable as I described above. I guess it's usually cold enough anger to allow me to still think. Very hot rage without any thinking isn't really what I'd be into. That'd feel like loss of control for sure.

Can you explain how the second part of the last sentence follows from the first part of it? How the fact of rationally dealing with emotion externally adds to the offline processing workload.

And how do you make the anger subside without trying to look at the solution first? I find it won't truly go away until I see the concrete steps to the solution or at least see some way towards a conclusion that I know I will need to find. While the problem is there without any steps taken (mentally or physically) for the problem, anger is there too.


One of the fortunate (for us... unfortunate for you) side effects of this processing is that by the time we've beaten the problem to death in our own minds and reached some form of conclusion (which very well could be that WE made an error and need not repeat it), we've put it behind us and have completely shifted our focus to something else. Hence, you find the "nothing ever happened" appearance the next morning. I fully understand how that could be frustrating to you, but keep in mind that for him, at that point it really is "over" and might not even be on his mind at all. He's awakened thinking about the day ahead with all of that gone from his conscious thoughts. While it's important for you to understand this "ISTJ" is really shorthand for "internally beat it to death, reach a conclusion and move on", it's also not unreasonable for you to calmly broach the subject and ask him his thoughts about it. He may actually be surprised that it's still on your mind, but probably won't mind explaining himself once he realizes that he left you out of his process.
Oh that obliviousness is weird to me. Since if I know there was another involved party I find it only fair to let them know about the conclusions etc. I think about it this way because I would prefer it myself if the other party kept me up to date.

Where I may also be less Introverted than this very introverted version of ISTJ is that I don't find it easy to just sit down alone with this stuff and put my mind to "internally beating it to death". I have to make the conscious effort to stop and "sit down" and think, or I just happen to start on it when I have to wait for something else and so have nothing else to pay attention to. Then I do this thinking in bits here and there until I get to somewhere with it over time. And this is only if I didn't yet reach the conclusion from talking with the other party.
 
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Interesting, I do find it foreign to be in so highly emotional states so I get you there, but anger somehow is the exception. I'm able to think while angry and I find it even enjoyable as I described above. I guess it's usually cold enough anger to allow me to still think. Very hot rage without any thinking isn't really what I'd be into. That'd feel like loss of control for sure.
Yeah... makes me wonder how those whose emotions routinely are engaged at surface level can even function. On those very rare occasions where I feel the anger bubbling to the surface, I'm pretty much incapable of functioning properly. Fortunately, I have enough self control to recognize it and withdraw rather than do/say things I would regret afterwards.

Can you explain how the second part of the last sentence follows from the first part of it? How the fact of rationally dealing with emotion externally adds to the offline processing workload.
The extra processing is from first needing to figure out exactly what it is I'm angry about (e.g., What is the problem?). In more rational situations, the "problem" is presented more logically in the first place and the "fixing" part can begin more directly.

And how do you make the anger subside without trying to look at the solution first? I find it won't truly go away until I see the concrete steps to the solution or at least see some way towards a conclusion that I know I will need to find. While the problem is there without any steps taken (mentally or physically) for the problem, anger is there too.
Typically, just time. It usually doesn't take much time to reel myself in, but it does need to take place. Then the rational processing can resume.

Oh that obliviousness is weird to me. Since if I know there was another involved party I find it only fair to let them know about the conclusions etc. I think about it this way because I would prefer it myself if the other party kept me up to date.
I don't disagree that the other party deserves an explanation (and said so in my OP)... but once resolved (at least in my own mind) my mind tends to just move on to something else. It's actually difficult for me to hold on to something like that once it's been resolved (for me). As I said before, it wouldn't bother me to be reminded about and discuss it afterwards but, internally, it's pretty much gone and forgotten. Without a reminder, I wouldn't naturally think about of bringing it up with the other party.

This is one of the reasons I have such a hard time understanding why people can hold grudges for so long when, once reconciled, I never give things another thought. For example, it's now 21 years since I lost a job (due to corporate merger) that I loved and had held for over 18 years. It took me a few months to really reconcile things, but once I did I was fine and easily moved on. I have no problem dealing with the company itself (we still are customers of theirs) or with the people I had worked with. My wife, on the other hand, *STILL* writes "Fuck You" in the memo field of every single monthly check she writes to the company, and refuses to talk to or about any former coworkers. About two months ago my former boss had a reunion luncheon that I attended... my wife absolutely could not understand why I would want to associate with any of those people.
 

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Yeah... makes me wonder how those whose emotions routinely are engaged at surface level can even function. On those very rare occasions where I feel the anger bubbling to the surface, I'm pretty much incapable of functioning properly. Fortunately, I have enough self control to recognize it and withdraw rather than do/say things I would regret afterwards.
Haha. Well, they probably have more affect tolerance since they are used to having the emotions. I guess I'm used to anger related emotionality in the same way.


The extra processing is from first needing to figure out exactly what it is I'm angry about (e.g., What is the problem?). In more rational situations, the "problem" is presented more logically in the first place and the "fixing" part can begin more directly.
Yes I do analyze too in a similar fashion but what I wasn't following here was why you emphasized "externally". Is this about not appearing irrational externally? Or?


Typically, just time. It usually doesn't take much time to reel myself in, but it does need to take place. Then the rational processing can resume.
Do you ever find having the anger helps see things more clearly afterwards? If this question even makes sense.


I don't disagree that the other party deserves an explanation (and said so in my OP)... but once resolved (at least in my own mind) my mind tends to just move on to something else. It's actually difficult for me to hold on to something like that once it's been resolved (for me). As I said before, it wouldn't bother me to be reminded about and discuss it afterwards but, internally, it's pretty much gone and forgotten. Without a reminder, I wouldn't naturally think about of bringing it up with the other party.
Yeah I guessed it was just obliviousness without meaning anything bad. No question that you are more introverted than me :)


This is one of the reasons I have such a hard time understanding why people can hold grudges for so long when, once reconciled, I never give things another thought. For example, it's now 21 years since I lost a job (due to corporate merger) that I loved and had held for over 18 years. It took me a few months to really reconcile things, but once I did I was fine and easily moved on. I have no problem dealing with the company itself (we still are customers of theirs) or with the people I had worked with. My wife, on the other hand, *STILL* writes "Fuck You" in the memo field of every single monthly check she writes to the company, and refuses to talk to or about any former coworkers. About two months ago my former boss had a reunion luncheon that I attended... my wife absolutely could not understand why I would want to associate with any of those people.
I'm the same way with grudges, yeah. If problem is solved, no hard feelings afterwards. It would actually take too much energy out of me to try and hold it up. Your wife is that ESFJ yes? Her way of dealing with these things reminds me a lot of my good friend (also FJ type) :laughing: And I do always wonder how she can get so emotional over certain things but I wouldn't want to criticize her for it, I don't mind too much anyway usually.
 

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Yes I do analyze too in a similar fashion but what I wasn't following here was why you emphasized "externally". Is this about not appearing irrational externally? Or?
Just that, for me, if I've reached the point that emotions are externally displayed they've "taken over" at the expense of rationality.


Do you ever find having the anger helps see things more clearly afterwards? If this question even makes sense.
Not that I've noticed.

Your wife is that ESFJ yes?
Yes... she's "that" ESFJ :happy:
 

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Just that, for me, if I've reached the point that emotions are externally displayed they've "taken over" at the expense of rationality.
Makes sense. For me if the emotion isn't too intense compared to the degree of tolerance I have for that type of emotion, I don't lose the capability for thinking. Though I'm also probably a bit more lax in terms of what I judge as not to be publicly displayed, compared to you.


Yes... she's "that" ESFJ :happy:
Err, the wording was because I recalled another recent thread (the one about hiding emotions) where you talked about her. I didn't mean anything bad by it but didn't realize this wasn't going to be clear for some reason :)
 

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As an ESTP, sometimes it's pretty hard to figure out what my boyfriend is thinking. When we are in the middle of a fight, he often would rather let it be and go to sleep than resolve it. This drives me nuts sometimes because the next morning he just acts like there was never a fight to begin with.

Additionally, when I ask him if he's mad (because I know he's mad) he gets even angrier even though I'm just trying to find out why so I can fix the situation. He becomes very reclusive when ticked off or annoyed and sometimes just sits in silence when I'm trying to fix the problem at hand.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? And when you are mad, what's the best way to handle the situation?
This is exceptionally familiar to me. My ISTJ husband of 13 years gets mad at me for asking if he is mad. I learned to (most of the time) just let him process it and let it go. About 70% of the time, it has nothing to do with me but he is mad about some other thing that is irritating him. I can guarantee if I ask "what's wrong, you seem angry?" he will then become angry at me instead of the thing he was actually mad about. Drives me crazy though because the ENTP questioner and Fe-user in me has a hard time not finding out what is wrong. It takes A LOT to get me angry so I am rarely the one that starts fights. When we would have a whopper of a fight where it was not resolved (and he probably went to far with his anger-mainly throwing inanimate objects), he would pretend the next morning everything was fine. He has learned through the years that it is not acceptable to me to do that. You face up your mistakes and apologize and then you can move on. I make mistakes too, of course, but I don't walk away from a fight and act like everything is fine. I deal with it right then and there.

You are going to have more volatile of fights being an ESTP with an ISTJ (that leading Se like my leading Ne will drive them crazy). Our inconsistent behavior will get on their every last nerve. If you can make it past the initial getting used to the way each other behaves, it is a very fruitful and great relationship though. My husband and I fought tooth and nail the first year we were dating. By the time we got married, we were completely used to each other. I have found that ISTJs (actually SJs in general) are not very rational when angry so if you actually want to have something sink in that you are upset about, wait to talk about it when everyone is relaxed and not angry.
 
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